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    Justin Cole is an inspiring dance instructor and choreographer known for his ability to make dancers of all ages and abilities look and feel stellar on stage. He is known for infectious energy and for leading students, by his example, to find and grab onto their passions in life. His teaching philosophy is that mediocre or settling is not good enough because it is within each of his students’ reach to attain what they want. “Work hard, follow your dreams and never say, I wish I would have…”

    Justin grew up in the Bay Area and developed a love for dance and theater at an early age, writing in his 3rd grade “autobiography” that he wanted to be a professional dancer when he grew up. He always remembers what an impact a positive and attentive teacher can have on a child, and is so thankful for his own 5th and 6th grade musical director, Mrs. Grant, who told him to continue performing.

    Temple-City-Performing-Arts-42nd-Street-LogoJustin entered the dance world by way of the theatre, first donning tap shoes to audition for 42nd Street at 16. Soon he was teaching in children’s theatre workshops and taking advantage of attending a public high school designated as a distinguished school of the performing arts by enrolling in every theatre and singing class offered.

    EAGLE-LOGO-500It wasn’t until after earning his Eagle Scout award and graduating high school with honors that Justin signed up for dance classes, quickly getting whipped into shape as the only 19 year-old boy in classes filled with very talented 14 year-olds at Katie’s Dance Studio in El Cerrito.

    Justin studied musical theatre at San Francisco State University, earning a B.A. in Drama and once again graduating with honors. Meanwhile, he continued to study tap and jazz, performing song and dance roles on stages across the Bay Area. Some of his favorite roles were Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain and the Emcee in Cabaret both with Pinole Community Players, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors with Masquer’s Playhouse, Jamey in The Harvey Milk Show with NCTC and Mark in A Chorus Line with CCMT. He also performed professionally in Guggenheim Entertainment’s Holiday Shows for several years. The last part he played in a musical was Mark in Pinole Community Players sold out run, of his favorite show, RENT!

    Justin has the teaching versatility to lead dynamic tap, theatrical dance, and hip-hop classes for all ability levels and ages—from 3 year-olds to grandparents. His fresh and exuberant style is in high demand, as he has taught up to 22 classes a week during the school year, and fewer in the summer when he also directs and choreographs for children’s theatre and other non-profit organizations.

    Justin’s professional teaching career includes 32 consecutive years with the Pinole Community Players, 19 years at Katie’s Dance Studio, 15 years at The California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), 8 years with the Peter Pan Foundation and now 5 years with Joy in Motion.

    Justin was a room parent and frequent volunteer at Wagner Ranch Elementary in Orinda when his son attended it. He was the Vice President of Family Connections on the Parents’ Club for 3 years, instrumental in organizing large events such as the school’s Fall Carnival, Auction, Walk-a-Thon, Friendship Day and the Holiday Fair, which are all attended by hundreds of Wagner Ranch families. Justin has been asked to host several fundraising dance parties in the area, including his favorite so far—a “Hip-Hop with Pop” event at Camino Pablo Elementary in Moraga.

    In 2014, Justin was asked to be dance captain for the Lamorinda branch of an international non-profit event, Dance for Kindness which he became a group leader for in 2015.  In 2016, he was honored to be named Head Choreographer in 2016 by Orly Wahba, the founder of Life Vest Inside.

    Everyone around the globe did his dance and he led the first ever San Francisco event at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park. He did it again in November of 2017. In 2018, he led the dance for the last time in the Parking lot of Joy in Motion which was very special.

    In May of 2015, Justin was asked to be on the Board of Directors for the Lamorinda Arts Council which is comprised of a group of distinguished artists, art enthusiasts, patrons, and community leaders from Orinda, Moraga and Lafayette and designed to enrich the entire Lamorinda region with the arts.

    Lamorinda Arts Council

    He was very active with them for 4 years and chaired the Arts Council’s largest fundraiser of the year 3 years, the Art of Mixology. He was honored to host their virtual Awards Show for the event in 2020.